After the dominating win over the West Indians in both the shortest and longest format of the game. The Kiwis will now host Pakistan in a three-match T20I series and 2 Tests. The 1st T20I between the sides is scheduled to take place on Friday at Eden Park in Auckland.
Pakistan last played a T20I series in month November, where they managed to white-wash the Zimababwians 3-0. But, this time the challenge is will be tougher as they will playing a team that is in-form and have been in winning momentum. Also, given the fact that the kiwis will be playing in their home conditions only makes it tougher for the visitors.
The last time the two sides met each other in a T20I series, the kiwis were white-washed 3-0 by the Pakistanis. Though the conditions were more in favor of the Pakistanis as the series was held in UAE. The series does promise to be an entertaining one as both the teams have some world-class players who are capable of taking their team to victory single-handedly.
Can the Kiwis continue their winning momentum? Can the Pakistanis repeat the same performance as they did the last time they clashed with the Black Caps?
Match Toss Time: 18:30 Local (11:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 19:00 Local (11:30 IST)
Match Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
The conditions are expected to be overcast but nothing that threatens to disrupt the game. The temperature is expected to hover in the 21-18 degree celsius range and the humidity at the peak is expected to touch 72 percent.
The pitch is Auckland as we know is one of the best pitches for the batsmen, also considering the short boundaries we can expect this to be a high-scoring thriller. The bowlers are very likely to be taken for a ride all around the ground by the batsmen. The team winning the toss should be looking to bat first and anything less than 185 could be a crime.
With a lot of the senior players being rested. The kiwis have given the youngsters the responsibility to take them over the line. They did prove they could take care of the proceedings when they dominated the West Indies in the T20I series. Said that the challenge against the Pakistan bowlers could tougher and for that reason, it would be exciting to see Devon Conway and Glenn Philips take them on.
Pakistan on the other side was dealt with a huge blow when their in-form skipper Babar Azam was ruled out of the series due to an injury to his thumb. Shadab Khan, the 22-year old all-rounder has been given the responsibility to lead the side. With Babar Azam ruled out and Fakhar Zaman being dropped, it is certain that Pakistan will have new openers for this series. Mohammad Hafeez could prove to be a vital player for the team once again.
Probable Playing Xl
New Zealand (NZ): Tim Seifert (WK), Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner (C), Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Jacob Duffy, Doug Bracewell
Pakistan (Pak): Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammed Hafeez, Shadab Khan (C), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
NZ vs Pak Fantasy Team
Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Haider Ali, Abdullah Shafique, James Nesham, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Shaheen Afridi
Captain Picks: Glenn Phillips (NZ), Imad Wasim (Pak)
Vice-captain Picks: Mohammad Hafeez (Pak), Tim Seifert (NZ)
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